Millen issued a statement late Thursday afternoon which said talks with Mariucci would continue. The former 49ers head coach took a tour of both Ford Field and Allen Park Headquarters and Training Facility Thursday and also met with Lions owner and Chairman William Clay Ford.
"Steve Mariucci arrived in town last night to discuss our head coaching vacancy," Millen said in the statement. "We had an excellent meeting with Bill Ford Wednesday evening and we also gave Steve a tour of Ford Field. Steve spent most of today at our Allen Park facility. He is now on his way back to the West Coast. Steve and I will continue to discuss this opportunity over the next few days."
Earlier in the week, Millen said he hoped Mariucci would be a candidate for the head coaching position.
"I spoke with Steve after he was left go (from San Francisco)," Millen said Monday when he announced the firing of Mornhinweg. "I have known Steve for a long time and I would like to speak with him again."
Detroit closed the season with eight straight losses, and the Lions' winning percentage of .156 over the last two seasons is the worst for such a span in franchise history.
Mornhinweg was widely criticized for an overtime loss to Chicago in which the Lions won the overtime loss and elected to take the wind. The Bears drove to the winning score on their first possession.
Under Mornhinweg, the Lions were 5-27, including 0-16 on the road. Despite no previous head coaching experience, Mornhinweg agreed to a five-year contract to replace Gary Moeller following the 2000 season.
San Francisco General Manager Terry Donahue announced on Jan. 15 that Mariucci had been released from the final year of his contract with the 49ers, citing "philosophical differences" between the coach and owner representative John York.